The UK’s LGBT community champions and entrepreneurs were among those honored last night (20 September) at the National Diversity Awards.
A gala dinner in Leeds, West Yorkshire, saw heroes of all ages, genders, races, religions, sexualities and more join together to celebrate.
Birmingham LGBT was named 2013’s Community Organization for LGBT for their achievement in opening a health and wellbeing center for their community in the heart of Britain’s second city.
The center is even more impressive as nothing quite like it exists across the rest of the country.
Chair Matt Daniels told Gay Star News: ‘Birmingham LGBT has been around since 2002 but it has been in the last four years we have really expanded so we are now doing a large variety of projects for people who are really vulnerable.
‘Awards like this bring attention to that and help us to get support and sponsorship so we can help more people.’
And another unique organization, UK Black Pride, which runs an annual celebration for gay and trans black and minority ethnic people in London, was also honored.
They won the Community Organization Award for Race, Religion and Faith.
UK Black Pride’s chair Phyll Opoku-Gyimah told GSN: ‘It has ben an amazing year and we have just been going from strength to strength. This award is wonderful because it means our community is getting the recognition they deserve.’
Grace Cardozo was named 2013’s Positive Role Model for LGBT. Based at the Dumfries and Galloway LGBT centre in Scotland, she champions gay, bi and trans equality across the area and the country.
As media partner of the awards, Gay Star News presented the Entrepreneur of Excellence Award for LGBT – an award we were honored to win in 2012.
The winner was Mathew Parsons, who runs gay and trans professional network group Radius and has grown his new company through his leadership in diversity issues and skills in bringing people together to make business better for everyone.
Ben Summerskill, chief executive of Stonewall, the UK’s leading lesbian, gay and bisexual organization, made it to the final three nominees for the Lifetime Achiever Award.
The final winner in that lifetime category was James Partridge – the founder and boss of Changing Faces, a British charity for people with disfigurements.
The awards, sponsored by Microsoft, were hosted by gay TV presenter and former Big Brother winner Brian Dowling and disabled children’s TV presenter Cerrie Burnell.
X Factor pop singer Misha B, bhangra drummers and a Caribbean-style steel band were among the performers entertaining the guests.
The National Diversity Awards will move to London next year.